Focus by Didier Coulomb

As we announced in the latest issue of the Newsletter, this special issue on the environment was prepared jointly with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). 2007 is a very important year for the future of the global environment and the refrigeration sector. Several reports - such as Stern report at the end of 2006 - have shown that combating climate change is not only necessary for preserving the environment but also the best way to develop national economies. The G8, bringing together industrialized countries and the biggest developing countries, in June 2007 announced actions against climate change and proposed to accelerate the phase-out of HCFCs. The United Nations Conferences on the ozone layer in Montreal (September 2007) and on climate change in Bali (December 2007) will probably propose new measures. It is the IIR's mission, as an intergovernmental organization, to attend these meetings and to deliver statements. Our partnership with UNEP is essential. We need to combine two actions: reducing the energy consumption of units, which represents 80% of the current impact of the refrigeration sector on global warming and 15% of the worldwide electricity consumption; reducing emissions and progressively replacing the refrigerants which have an important impact on the ozone layer or as greenhouse gases (CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs). The refrigeration sector is vital for human life. We need sustainable development. The success of the Montreal Protocol is our success. It shows our ability to meet this challenge in a responsible manner, taking into account the various impacts of the technologies and uses on the environment and the situations of the various countries. All sectors have to participate in these efforts. All countries have to take measures suited to their contexts. The IIR provide guides and organizes conferences, especially this year, in order to help you contribute to this effort. Didier Coulomb, Director of the IIR